August 16, 2022 5 min read

In this article

    In this article:

    Role of collagen in skincare
    Signs of collagen deficiency
    How to restore & boost collagen production

    Role of Collagen in Skincare

    Collagen Fibers Are Building Blocks

    Collagen is a popular supplement for athletes, health gurus, as well as skinfluencers. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It provides strength to all your connective tissues including muscles, joints, ligaments, eyes, blood vessels, and skin. Collagen fibers are like building blocks or scaffolding for your skin; they build upon each other to create a sturdy support system and keep the skin firm and tight.

    An unfortunate part of the aging process is that after our mid-twenties, collagen synthesis begins to slow (about 1.5% per year). For women, collagen levels take a steep decline after menopause. Not only that, sun exposure and free radicals can damage our fibroblasts (the skin cells which produce collagen and other fibers) and make us produce even less collagen. The effect is not only that our joints tend to ache and feel less springy, but our skin elasticity decreases, causing the skin to become thinner and form fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin look dull and dry.

    Signs of collagen deficiency

    Signs of aging correlate strongly with collagen deficiency, but they can also be present in young healthy individuals. Common signs that your body is lacking in collagen include:

    Luckily, whether a collagen deficiency is affecting your skin, joints, or both, boosting your collagen synthesis is fairly straightforward. 

    Restore & boost collagen production

    There's no question that collagen is crucial for your skin health, but what many skincare companies fail to tell you is that collagen molecules are too big to penetrate the skin's barrier. While topical formulas may help with hydration, that expensive, anti-aging, collagen-infused moisturizer skinfluencers say you need, is no more effective than your run-of-the-mill drug store moisturizer! The best way to give your skin that same youthful glow you had before, or protect your skin against the common signs of aging is to approach it from the inside out.

    Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen

    • Boost your hyaluronic acid intake: Hyaluronic acid is found in almost every cell of our bodies. It works hand in hand with collagen by enhancing its bioavailability, or the body’s ability to produce and use collagen. If you want to use hyaluronic acid for collagen synthesis, look for foods that are rich in amino acids such as beans and soy.
    • Try a collagen supplement:Collagen is naturally produced in the human body, but this tends to slow with age. Unlike other good-for-your-skin vitamins, like vitamin A and C which can be found in many different foods, collagen is found mostly within animal skin and bones. That means unless you're known to gnaw on some chicken tendons, you're probably not getting enough collagen from your diet alone. Highly bioavailable collagen supplements, which include both marine and bovine collagen peptides, have been found to stimulate further collagen andelastin production within the body. So, adding a little collagen to your diet, say in your coffee, smoothie, oatmeal, or energy bars, means producing more collagen down the line to combat the signs of aging.
    • Get plenty of vitamin C: Similar to hyaluronic acid, vitamin C makes the collagen in our bodies more effective and supports the production of new collagen formation. Because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it can help to protect your body's collagen from oxidative damage. It also stimulates the production of new collagen! Our advice? Eat plenty of citrus fruit, bell peppers, blueberries, and leafy greens or blend them together into a healthy skin smoothie with a highly bioavailable vitamin C supplement.
    • Use retinol and retinoids:Retinol is another common, topical, anti-aging product that can boost your skin's collagen production, while blocking certain enzymes from hurting your collagen stores. Just remember to take it slow as retinols can be irritating to many skin types. In addition, some retinols won't counteract with other ingredients in your skincare products.
    • Use sunscreen:This might not get your collagen levels up, but it will protect the collagen your body has already produced from being damaged, and reduce the risk of developing other signs of sun damage and aging. SPF is the way!
    • Eat a colorful diet:Collagen can be harder to find in your diet than other healthy skin vitamins and minerals. But, by eating a colorful diet with plenty of protein, you can naturally boost your body's collagen levels. In addition to eating vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies, try to include egg whites, bone broth, and fish in your diet.
    • Use aloe vera:A 2015 study in "Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology" showed that consuming a specific aloe vera extract increased the amount of hyaluronic acid and collagen within the skin.

    Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidative Properties of Ginseng

    • Become a ginseng tea drinker:Another study done in 2012 showed that ginseng has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that can protect against skin aging and may stimulate collagen production.
    • Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a sure-fire way to increase collagen for the short run. In this facial procedure, crystals are used to exfoliate the skin and stimulate collagen for skin repair. The trouble is, effects are short lived and the cost of procedures can add up! To boost the effects of your procedure and increase collagen for the long run, we recommend taking a high-quality collagen supplement and avoiding oxidative stress (from the sun, processed foods, and smoking) whenever possible.
    • Drink lots of water:It sounds simple but most of us don’t get enough. In addition to the amino acids proline, lysine, and glycine, water is an integral component of collagen proteins; water accounts for about 60 percent of the substance by weight. To make your skin more hydrated, free of blemishes, and bright, be sure to drink plenty of water. Pro-tip: Try adding a collagen supplement to your water! If you choose an unflavored, clean collagen supplement, you will barely even notice the difference! You can use the free app “Daily Water Tracker Reminder” to do just that - it will track your water consumption and send helpful reminders for you to drink more throughout the day!

    Summary Points:

    Collagen fibers are like building blocks or scaffolding for your skin; they build upon each other to create a sturdy support system and keep the skin firm and tight

    Hyaluronic acid is found in almost every cell of our bodies, and it works hand in hand with collagen by enhancing its bioavailability and body’s ability to produce and use collagen

    Another study done in 2012 showed that ginseng has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that can protect against skin aging and may stimulate collagen production

    References:

    1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317151#Ways-to-boost-collagen
    2. https://nakednutrition.com/blogs/wellness/collagen-deficiency-symptoms
    3. https://hintmd.com/lets-talk-about-collagen-and-elastin/



    Also in Blog

    Genetic Factors: Understanding the Nature Versus Nurture Conundrum
    Genetic Factors: Understanding the Nature Versus Nurture Conundrum

    July 16, 2024 7 min read

    This ongoing debate has been the root cause of a division between many scientists, primary biologists and sociologists. Is the genetic makeup we're born with the fate we have to make peace with, or does the social setting play a vital role in our development and behavior? Are genetic predispositions unwavering, or can a certain parenting style and social setting set the course? Find the answers to all these questions in our nature vs. nurture guide, and learn more about the benefits of DNA tests.
    Read More
    Understanding the Link Between Vitamin D and Psoriasis
    Understanding the Link Between Vitamin D and Psoriasis

    July 09, 2024 8 min read

    Psoriasis remains a mystery even to scientists, while the role of vitamin D in skin health is crystal clear. While the exact causes of psoriasis are still unknown, certain mechanisms have been studied and deciphered. There is a strong link between vitamin D and psoriasis, especially since psoriasis patients seem to have very low vitamin D levels. Find out more about the link between the sunshine vitamin and psoriasis in our in-depth guide.
    Read More
    Unlocking the Power of Creatine and Mental Health: What You Need to Know
    Unlocking the Power of Creatine and Mental Health: What You Need to Know

    June 24, 2024 5 min read

    One of the surprising, lesser-known benefits of creatine is that, by optimizing brain health, it also boosts mood levels. Low creatine levels in the brain have been associated with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Luckily, supplementing with creatine can elevate creatine levels and allow you to grab all its benefits, including the neuroprotective effects. Learn more about the impact of creatine on the brain -- especially mental health.
    Read More